MADD Kern County to host 10th Anniversary ‘Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash’, presented by Chain | Cohn | Clark
Since 2014, the Bakersfield “Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash” has provided Kern County residents the opportunty to come together to fight impaired driving in our community.
In the process, community members, local businesses, advocates, and other donors have helped raise more than half a million dollars for MADD Kern County educational programs, help innocent victims of DUI crashes, and help raise awareness of the impaired driving problem in our community.
For the event’s 10-year anniversary this year, Kern County will come together on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Park at River Walk for the Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash — presented by Chain | Cohn | Clark and Valley Strong Credit Union — in the fight against drunk and drugged driving, and proclaim, “No More Victims!”
“Kern County has some of the worst statistics in the country when it comes to DUI arrests and crashes,” said Jorge Barrientos, chairman for the Walk Like MADD planning committee and marketing director at Chain | Cohn | Clark. “Behind these statistics are local lives that are being upended. It’s a problem that can affect each of us, and requires all of us to come together to put an end to these 100% preventable crimes.”
He added: “The annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash gives our community a chance to unite behind this cause to raise awareness, raise funds for local educational programs and victim support services, and gather victims to share their stories. This year MADD Kern County is commemorating 10 years of hosting this event – we’ll continue advocating for sober driving until we see no more victims on our roadways.”
WALK LIKE MADD & MADD DASH
The 5K walk and run event is Kern County’s chance to do something about drunk and drugged driving in our community. In what has become one of the largest fundraising walks and runs in town, the event brings together people from our community – surviving victims of crashes, families and friends of injured and deceased victims, law enforcement, prosecutors, first responders, advocates, and community leaders and members – to march, rally and run for the cause. Participants can sign up as a walker or 5K runner, help gather donations, or volunteer.
Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash has three main components:
- Remember: We walk and run for those who no longer can and alongside those who are learning to walk again.
- Inspire: We walk and run empowered even when we feel powerless, as survivors when we have been victimized, and with purpose when we have lost our way.
- Commit: We walk and run with supporters who share our vision of “No More Victims.”
In addition to raising funds, the Walk Like MADD is also time to celebrate the lives of those who have been lost to or impacted by impaired driving. Many participants carry photos of loved ones who have been killed. Others wear MADD shirts or hats with the names of victims on them.
Since 2021, nearly 1,000,000 victims have been served. MADD Victim Services is no cost to victims and survivors, and helps survivors with the following:
- Providing emotional support
- Guidance through the criminal and civil justice systems
- Accompanying victims and survivors to court
- Helping prepare a victim impact statement.
- Referring victims and survivors to appropriate resources for additional help.
- Offering support groups.
- Connecting victims and survivors who’ve had similar experiences.
- Providing supportive materials on victimization topics.
The event is also sponsored this year by Kern County Prosecutors Association, Bakersfield Breakfast Lions, Amerivet Contracting, Rain for Rent, Sikh Riders of America, Strata Credit Union, and Mission Bank.
For more information, and to register, go to walklikemadd.org/bakersfield. Kern County’s local phone number for victims is 661-493-8200. The 24-hour hotline is 877-MADD-HELP.
KERN COUNTY IMPAIRED DRIVING
Kern County ranks among the worst in the state for DUI crashes resulting in injuries, and in the United States. A recent survey by Quote Wizard ranked Bakersfield as having the worst drivers on roadways by analyzing 6 million car insurance quotes and based on four factors of driver quality — accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations (running a red light, using a cellphone while driving, and more). Our town ranked worst (No. 1) for DUIs.
Some more local statistics to put the problem in perspective:
- In 2022, Bakersfield Police responded to 155 DUI injury crashes and 12 fata l DUI crashes.
- They made 857 DUI arrests.
- In 2022 in Kern County, 50 people were killed in DUI crashes and 716 injured.
- 35 pedestrians accidents involved impaired driving.
- 9 bicycle accidents involved impaired driving.
- 28 motorcycle accidents involved impaired driving.
Nationally, impiared driving statistics are as follows:
- 2 out of 3 people will be impacted by drunk driving crashes in their lifetime.
- Every day 37 people are killed in drunk driving crashes, or every 39 minutes someone is killed.
- Every day 1,063 people are injured, or every 81 seconds, in drunk driving crash.
- The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
“By participating in a Walk Like MADD event, you become a beacon of hope, a force for change, and a vital part of a movement that is determined to eradicate the devastating impact of impaired driving from our communities,” said Matt Clark, managing parter and attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark. “Let’s walk or run together, hand in hand, and pave the way for a world free from these 100 percent preventable crimes.”
Chain | Cohn | Clark has been a longtime partner of MADD and MADD Kern County, helping honor local officers and community members for their work in fighting DUI crimesthrough the annual Kern County Law Enforcement & Prosecutors Recognition Awards. Clark is a founding board member for the local chapter of MADD and is a recipient of the “Pursuit of Justice” award by MADD California. He regularly speaks to DUI offenders during the MADD Victim Impact Panels. Law firm marketing director Jorge Barrientos in 2015 was named “Volunteer of the Year” for MADD California. MADD Kern County honored Chain | Cohn | Clark with a “Community Champion” award in 2018 for the law firm’s work toward raising awareness locally and helping victims.
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at chainlaw.com.
- Walk Like MADD benefits Kern families impacted by drunk driving (KGET-17, NBC – Aug. 8, 2023)
- Go & Do: Make a difference and Walk Like MADD (Bakersfield Life Magazine – Aug. 23, 2023)
- 2023 Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Bakersfield 5K (KGET-17, NBC – Aug. 25, 2023)
- Put advocacy in motion at Walk Like MADD (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 19, 2023)
- 10th anniversary of Walk Like MADD: ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving’ raising awareness of drunk driving (KGET-17 News at Noon – Sept. 21, 2023)